New French Startup Is Trying to “Destroy” Uncover Surveillance, like Alexa and Google Home
Snips is a French startup that is working on new technology that will eliminate the reliance on programs like Alexa and Google Home. Considering the company’s view that Alexa and related products are the “worst” technology ever created, they instead want to establish a new home device that cannot connect with entities like the NSA. To put it in the words of CEO Dr. Rand Hindi – “Our goal is to destroy Alexa.”
Most of the time, Dr. Hindi maintains a relatively calm demeanor, but even the thought of talking about Alexa is enough to invoke profanity and anger.
He said, “It’s a centralized product that sucks up all the data in your home. It is a closed ecosystem, developers have NO say in what they can do on it. If you build an app and people use it, Amazon owns the data.” The content that Google and Amazon gathers is grouped within a cloud-based database.
As the various technologies gather information, they are able to adjust their algorithms, but it also means that the user’s entire life is on broadcast. That is the reason that Snips is releasing a program called Snips AIR.
Snips AIR is a Voice Assistant as well, making it the first product available from the main company. This product is anchored in blockchain instead of a cloud-based system, calling it a “private by design” system. Everything still functions as effectively as Alexa and Google Home, but there is no Big Brother watching every move of the user.
“Our voice assistant runs 100% percent locally, on the device you’re talking to. The device itself does the processing of your voice, without any of the data being sent to the cloud for processing,” said Dr. Hindi.
Along with the new Snips AIR, SNIPS is looking to create a functional toolkit that will urge the development of voice assistants from other companies as well. To create an incentive, Snips wants to establish a developers’ marketplace, which is why they are doing a token sale.
Some consumers may wonder if another cryptocurrency token is actually an incentive for inclusion, or if its just another digital asset to keep straight in an industry that is already overgrown with tokens. However, Snips has spent a lot of time in development for this technology, with one of the best features being the progressive development that does not impinge on privacy for users.
According to Dr. Hindi, “By combining federated learning, multiparty computation and blockchain. We can guarantee that as a developer you can keep improving the quality of your neural network, as people use it, without ever having people send you data.”
One of the biggest arguments with ICOs always seems to be the lack of progress during their sale, but Dr. Hindi says that most of their platform and token has already been complete.
Four years is all it has taken for the company to reach 14,000 developers and there are 28,000 Voice Assistants created. The French governments was responsible for about half of the E22 million in capital and grants used for the development of the product. However, the challenge continues to be the establishment of a token economy with blockchain technology. According to Dr. Hindi, the company plans to have their product in stores for purchase by Christmastime next year.